hat Boutique-y Gin Company has previously released gins which highlight a single unusual botanical, like the quite excellent Finger Lime Gin. Their Cucamelon Gin highlights a fruit whose consumption dates back to North American culture in pre-Colombian times. Melothria scabra or mouse melon or Mexican sour gherkin or Mexican miniature watermelon or cucumber or pepquiños— it goes by a myriad of names. The cucamelon is a small grape like fruit that looks like a miniaturized watermelon but tastes like a sour and slightly fruity cucumber.
Cucamelons are trendy at the moment. In the past couple years they’ve been talked up as “strange and wonderful,””the cutest summer food,” or sparing not an iota of hyperbole— “the most exciting fruit you can grow this year.” Cucamelon Gin fits squarely in this trend and also capitalized on the very popular contemporary gin botanical cucumber.
Citrus primarily and surprisingly on the nose. Limes and Orange oil belie a faint background hint of rhubarb and spice. The spice notes are pleasant but it’s mostly about the citrus.
Like many other gins in That Boutique-y Gin Company’s lineup, Cucamelon has a bold flavor. Orange oil with a lot of neroli. A vegetal hint of cucumber segues into a broad juniper led mid-palate with a strong supporting note of Angelica. Dusty coriander and background spice are followed by a touch of licorice-inspired sweetness. Then, dry, crisp white peppercorn. The finish is fairly long and fairly dry with coriander playing a strong role, but plenty of notes remain including bitter orange zest.
Katey’s Notes: “classic gin aroma” and a “strong astringent flavor” and “an astringent finish.”
Mixed with Double Dutch Light Tonic Water, I find that a surprising amount of cool, freshness emerges from Cucamelon Gin. The Gin and Tonic reveals a faint hint of tarragon on the finish. Also, a crisper more vegetal heart. It’s a really nice, cool, summer drink. Katey also note that Cucamelon Gin was Considerably mellower in a Gin and Tonic.
I admit, I haven’t had a cucamelon in the past and Cucamelon Gin is my first experience; however given the tasting notes I’ve read online for the fruit— I don’t get a ton of that fruit’s specific character in here. Instead what I get is a nicely done and well balanced citrus forward gin. It also makes for a particularly good G&T.
Recommended for a summer tipple.